Castletown looking good
Castletown 2-17 St. James' 2-7
Castletown advanced to another All-County Football League Division 1 decider after an impressive 2-17 to 2-7 reversal of St. James' in last Tuesday's semi-final at a tropical Tomnahely.
Victory came at a cost for the hosts however, as Wexford Senior footballer Donnacha Holmes departed the scene in agony with a nasty looking arm injury midway through the first-half.
Holmes had been centrally involved in his side laying down a marker immediately from the throw-in when he teed up Jonathan Bealin to sweep emphatically to the net after only 20 seconds of action.
Brendan Halpin, Ben Brosnan and team captain Jody O'Shaughnessy all added neat points from play, while some excellent spade-work from Frank Roche allowed the younger Bealin brother, Ross, to extend the gap to 1-7 to 0-5 at the interval.
In between, St. James' displayed a propensity to attack in numbers, with gusto too, and had excellent scores on the board from David Doyle and the hard-working Brian Molloy to bring up that tally by half-time.
Despite conceding the first three points of the new half, and having a goal ruled out for a square-ball infringement, Ramsgrange nevertheless gained a fillip on 38 minutes when Alan Walsh did well to intercept on the Castletown '40 and quickly feed the onrushing Tommy Walsh who goaled with conviction (1-10 to 1-5).
But the leaders responded with five of the next seven points, four of them coming from play, including a towering effort from Jonathan Bealin, to press home their advantage.
But they were guilty of a moment of sloppiness eight minutes from time when a miscommunicated move out of defence saw the ball break beyond cover for Walsh to poke home his second goal.
That proved to be another false dawn though as Castletown finished the game off in some style, with Brosnan kicking over two clever points from play and coolly stroking home a penalty on 57 minutes after a deliberate footblock from a St. James' defender.
Castletown: Niall Hempenstall; Pierce Maxwell, George Sunderland, Frank Roche; James Holmes, Colm Morris, Jody O'Shaughnessy (capt., 0-2); Anthony Masterson, Liam Coleman; Donnacha Holmes, Jonathan Bealin (1-6, 0-4 frees), Ben Brosnan (1-4, 1-0 pen.); Ross Bealin (0-2), Gavin Stamp (0-1), Brendan Halpin (0-2). Subs. - Marc Halpin for D. Holmes, inj. (17), Robbie Brooks for Stamp (34), Killian Pierce for J. Holmes (34), Danny Gardiner for Masterson (45), Risteárd Kinsella for Sunderland (59).
St. James': John Ryan; Paul Barron (capt.), Jason Barron, Robbie Barron; Mark Molloy, Darragh Lyons, David Doyle (0-1); Brian Molloy (0-5, 2 frees), Liam Murphy; Alan Walsh (0-1), Donal Barron, Daniel Keating; Tommy Walsh (2-0), Brendan Doyle, Shane Murphy. Subs. - Brian Kennedy for R. Barron (51), Robert Murphy for A. Walsh (56).
Referee: Justin Heffernan (Blackwater).